After spending 30 years as the director of the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles, Ruth Flynn has found a new passion, but this time it's off the stage and in her kitchen. Mrs. Flynn credits her skills running her up-and-coming business after spending decades as an educational instructor, among other positions at TJC.
"Last October my husband, Alvin, wanted me to make some candy I hadn't made in four or five years," Mrs. Flynn said. "It was laying out while we had friends over, and they tasted it and said ‘Oh my goodness, this is what you need to be doing with your company!'"
Mrs. Flynn has several special recipes she makes and all have a different story of where they came from. One of the treats is called a "Puddle," which is a praline with a twist, she said. Another recipe she uses was a gift from a friend who lives far away and asked for the secret ingredient to never be spoken about. This recipe makes decadent small white chocolate-covered pecan bites called "Toasties."
"I was looking through old recipe books, looking for family recipes, by this time hoping to find something I could make that was meaningful to our family," Mrs. Flynn said. "I think a lot of people can relate when I say, ‘You don't do what your mother-in-law cooks best - you let her always cook it because she does it exactly like how everybody loves it.'"
Before her mother-in-law passed away after a decline in health this past spring, Mrs. Flynn was passed down some recipes of hers. After looking through the recipes, her husband told her one of his favorite recipes was the peanut butter fudge. Although he had fond memories of the fudge, the recipe was difficult to read.
"I found out the fudge he liked that his mother made was from a recipe dating back to World War II," Mrs. Flynn said. "She would send the peanut butter fudge in care packages to my father-in-law and her brothers, who were all serving in the war."
She said it was trial and error until she could figure out how much butter to use when the recipe called for a "hunk." The recipe was written with no exact measurements during a time when families were given rations in WWII.
"I finally found someone that said, ‘Let's make it my way with the ingredients that we have now, and I'll tell you how I do it,' and it worked," Mrs. Flynn said. "So I don't use any jet-propelled marshmallow crème or anything like that. I use what she used now."
Mrs. Flynn is promoting her mother-in-law's recipe with her new company, Flynn & Co., and putting a name on the peanut butter fudge at an appropriate time of year –"Freedom Fudge," in memory of her in-law's affiliation with the military on Veterans Day.
"My father-in-law was a Seabee, and he said there was so many air raids and the conditions were not good," Mrs. Flynn said, "So, this fudge has a back story to it, and everything that I introduce will have a memory to go with it."
For more details on Flynn & Co. or to find information on how to place an order, visit rflynnandcompany.com or call 903-539-8550.